A team of researchers has identified two easy ways to make the workplace — whether at home or in an office setting — less friendly to the virus that causes COVID-19.
The team, from the University of California, Davis and the University of Oregon, say that when America does return to the workplace, simple changes can play a big part in reducing the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the current pandemic.
These changes may also help prevent future outbreaks.
First, open the windows. According to Study Finds, scientists say that the more air that comes into a building from the outside, the better. This helps dilute the amount of virus particles floating around. They add that no internal air filter is perfect and even the best designed ones allow virus particles into a closed building.
“No filter system is perfect,” scientists wrote in the journal mSystems. “Gaps in the edges of filters in hospitals has been a contributing factor of the failure of filtering systems to eliminate pathogens from the shared air environment.”
Increasing the amount of daylight in the building is their second recommendation.
“Daylight exists as a free, widely available resource to building occupants with little downside to its use and many documented positive health benefits,” said the team.
While researchers admit they don’t know how effective sunlight is against the virus, they say the health benefits for people make it a simple and inexpensive way to fight the coronavirus, according to Study Finds.
According to NBC-2, neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nor the World Health Organization (WHO) list sunlight exposure as a way to prevent the coronavirus.
But an article in Consumer Reports, experts say that moderate sun exposure contributes to stronger bones, better sleep, improved mood and a healthier immune system.
The researchers also added that viruses like drier air and humidity disrupts their activity. “They can’t travel as far in humid conditions,” says the team. So, adding more humidity to the air may help slow the spread.
Offices are designed for social interaction, and unfortunately, say the experts, this presents a hotbed for spreading germs. They recommend that in the future, leaders promote work policies that limit disease transmission, according to Study Finds.
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